A yearling black bear huffs as he is trapped in a cage on private property right next to the garbage compactor where he was looking for a meal. Mario Klip with the California Department of Wildlife releases the bear, dogs chase him and another person shoots the bear with paint balls.
This senario is an example of a management technique called adverse conditioning. Ideally the bear will associate the compactor with a really bad experience and not come back.
“We are currently doing a study," explains Klip. "We don’t know for sure yet how successful it is... what we are trying to do is we are focusing on animals that are not habituated to people and not habituated to garbage.”
But he says it's hard to know which bears eat mostly garbage, what their range is and how much time they spend in urban or wilderness areas.
The new study focuses on tracking data collected by radio collars on the bears.
Researchers are even considering mounting cameras on bears.